Day 1 of Back to the Beach Festival showcased a number of local talents and well-established acts against the backdrop of a sunny and warm Huntington Beach. The two-day festival operated by KROQ and presented by Travis Barker and John Feldman boasted a lineup full of ska and punk rock bands, including some household names like Blink-182.
Streetlight Manifesto continues to deliver catchy and enticing ska music, satisfying long term fans and capturing the attention of casual attendees at Back to the Beach. Standout tracks like “Would you be Impressed” resonated with the ska-centric crowd and had even passive listeners singing the chorus.
Reel Big Fish came out and matched Streetlight Manifesto’s energy, performing a number of other tracks in front of a growing crowd anticipating the arrival of the later acts. Some featured tracks included “Everyone Else Is An Asshole” and “Beer” bringing with them smiles and dancing from all in attendance.
Goldfinger’s lead singer John Feldmann left no stone unturned when it came to energizing his crowd. With a number of great call and response moments, as well as a crowd surfing incident early on in his set, his enthusiasm was truly palpable and the crowd was loving every moment of it. Goldfinger’s set can be most accurately described as a love letter to their longtime fans, contemporaries, and inspirations. Feldmann seemed to bring out other musicians one after the other to perform covers of their most recognizable music with the band. Most notably, Nick Hexum from 311 was brought out to perform “Amber” which united the crowd through universally known lyrics and melodies.
As 7:35 rolled around, the entire grounds of Huntington Beach State Park became filled with individuals looking to secure a location to see the headliner, Blink-182.
Blink’s energy was complimented by kinetic and extravagant visuals showcased throughout their set. With the sun falling below the horizon, their use of pyrotechnics, smoke, and lights provided the perfect accompaniment to the energy of their set; and the energy of each diehard fan in the crowd. Lead singer Matt Skiba made it clear early on that they would be playing every song from their 1999 album Enema of The State, resulting in an eruption of applause and cheers from the packed crowd. Their set sustained a well-paced blend of upbeat classics like “All The Small Things” while integrating slower emotive tracks like “Adam’s Song” that connected with fans of the 20-year-old project.
REEL BIG FISH